Whistleblower Disclosures

Jennifer Duke
March 10, 2016

The Office of Special Counsel, commonly referred to as "OSC," has a specific Disclosure Unit that handles whistleblower disclosures made by federal employees, former employees, and applicants.

Black and white photo of the silhouette of a woman holding up a megaphone

Whistleblowers must make their disclosures to OSC in writing. In order make the disclosure process more manageable, OSC developed a form, OSC Form No. 12, Disclosure of Information, which can be used.

If an employee chooses not to use the form, then their disclosure must include their name, address, and telephone number.

Once a disclosure has been made, Disclosure Unit attorneys evaluate the disclosure and determine whether or not the disclosure is likely to meet whistleblower requirements - namely whether one of the following has been disclosed:

  1. A violation of a law, rule, or regulation
  2. Gross mismanagement
  3. A gross waste of funds
  4. An abuse of authority
  5. A substantial and specific danger to public health and safety
A man in a suit talking on a cell phone pointing downward with an angry look on his face

If OSC finds that there is a substantial likelihood that one of the above conditions exists, the disclosure will be referred to the appropriate agency head for investigation.

The Agency head will be required to investigate the claim and submit a written report on the findings to OSC within 60 days.

Once OSC receives the report, it is reviewed to determine whether it meets statutory requirements and whether its findings appear to be reasonable.

At this time, the whistleblower is also provided with the opportunity to review and comment on the report.

If the report is found to meet statutory requirements, the report will be sent to the President and the congressional committees responsible for overseeing the agency involved.

closeup of hands typing on a laptop keyboard

For more information about OSC and whistleblowing, you can visit the OSC's website here. If you believe you have witnessed wrongdoing and would like to file a whistleblower disclosure, the federal employee attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. may be able to help.

Call or message us today using the form below to discuss your claim and learn how we can assist you.

This blog and web site published by Melville Johnson, P.C. should not be used as a substitute for seeking competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney. Readers of this information should not act upon any information contained on this blog or website without seeking professional counsel.
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